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Scanning the Horizon: 16-20 Nov

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

The world's now scrambling for dry ice. It's just one headache in getting coronavirus vaccines where they need to go

Source: CNN

The article explores the challenges of transporting COVID-19 vaccines - keeping vaccines cool enough in developing countries and rural areas in the developed world. The challenge is particularly pressing for the two vaccines currently most widely in the news - Moderna's and Pfizer's vaccines, which require deep freeze conditions. However, enough production of dry ice, which ensures these conditions, may be another challenge.

Other key challenges analyzed include projected massive airlift amounts needed to transport the vaccines, public scepticism of vaccine safety and keeping track of who gets vaccinated and when, to name just a few.

Inside the COVID-19 vaccine airlift: How cargo carriers plan to distribute the world's soon-to-be most valuable drugs to market

Source: Business Insider

In anticipation of COVID-19 vaccine approvals in the upcoming weeks, airlines, airports, pharmaceutical manufacturers and the rest of the industry are preparing for the challenge of fast, safe and well coordinated distribution.

The article explores all the efforts from cool chain capacity, dry ice safety requirements to leveraging the existing infrastructure. One thing is clear - transporting vaccines by air in such capacity constraints will be an extremely expensive endeavour for shippers and an effective use of trucking is being examined as well.

Future Series: Cybersecurity, emerging technology and systemic risk

Souce: World Economic Forum

In the past decade cybersecurity has emerged as one of the largest systemic issues for the global economy. Managing cyber risks, especially the emerging ones, is a major challenge due to:

  • Skills shortage

  • Weak global cyber security governance system

  • Existing cyber security approaches not agile enough to adapt to emerging risks and new methodologies

  • Lack of funding for security systems and to incentivize new technologies to develop securely

  • Unclear accountability for ensuring resilience

Image source: World Economic Forum

The future of travel: Where do we go from here?

Source: Fast Company

As the the conventional air travel has been experiencing the largest crisis in the history of civil aviation industry, innovative travel solutions have been popping up:

  • Small on-deman airlines are kicking off in California and Europe

  • Urban air mobility, or in other words, passenger drones are being tested to provide small groups of passengers with fast short distance travel options

  • Investment in electric airplane technology promise to reduce environmental impact of aviation which includes an important one - noise

  • Supersonic travel start up Boom Technology has presented a supersonic jet in October

Air carriers begin transporting Covid-19 vaccines

Source: Air Cargo News

As more and more news on promising vaccine results have been coming out in the past weeks, some airlines, like Air France KLM Martinair Cargo and Turkish Carco are already transporting vaccines. Other airlines like Virgin Atlantic Group set up a new pharma service which includes an always-on support team, automatic live status updates, proactive service recovery and temperature-controlled facilities.

The ground handler Swissport has demonstrated capabilities to handle highly temperature sensitive cargo involving a shipment of a container in -70 degrees Celsius.

Using blockchain to monitor the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain

Source: World Economic Forum

The Blockchain technology could play a key role in distribution of COVID-19 vaccines by playing a role of a mutually agreed decentralized database. Blockchain could provide the infrastructure for supply chain management platforms as it covers essential elements to ensure the digital trust: It is not owned by anyone and data cannot be erased, only appended, driving higher accountability by each individual adding data.

In the supply chain of vaccines, the players would benefit from the following benefits:

  • Vaccine manufacturers: tracking whether shipments are delivered on time to their destinations

  • Distributors: providing a more efficient delivery tracking platform

  • Hospitals and clinics: better managing their stocks, mitigating supply and demand constraints + ensuring vaccine authenticity

  • Individuals: getting a guarantee of their vaccine authenticity

Image source: Hexa Foundation

Women can rise to the top, says Geodis's Marie-Christine Lombard – 'take risks'

Source: The Loadstar

At the Women’s Forum for Economy and Society, the female CEO Marie-Christine Lombard commented on her journey to the top and advised women to take more risks in business and have a stronger confidence in their talent and unique skills.

Geodis has also committed to advancing diversity and equality in the company, including pay, skills development, and supporting the advancement of women in private sector.

Cainiao gives last-mile boost in Malaysia, expands into Japan

Source: Payload Asia

Alibaba's logistics arm the Cainiao has partnered with Shanghai-based Yunda Express to:

  • Strengthen last mile delivery efficiency in Malaysia via a network of collection stations, with a plan to grow collection points from 100 to 500 in the next two years

  • "Drive digitalisation through AI-powered smart sorting and IoT-enabled parcel management systems" to improve productivity, accuracy and reduce costs

Resilience, sustainability and responsible practice as key drivers of recovery

Source: World First

Over the difficult year of 2020, businesses have learned that for survival and resilience building, price is by not the only element in supply chain managemet. The article explores why sustainability is the key driver of supply chain resilience. Although "green" practices are key, the author highlights the focus on "conducting business in a more responsible, ethical manner, especially towards suppliers, by paying on time or offering support when needed." Especially small and medium size businesses which are particularly vulnerable to delayed payments.

A striking 30% of surveyed companies have reshored and shortened some of their supply chain, meaning goods travel shorter distances, cutting emissions and reducing the number of disruptions.

Japan Airlines turns to drones for deliveries in mountainous areas

Source: DroneDJ

Japan Airlines (JAL) have partenered with a drone company Terra Drone Corp. and the Yabu city government and tested drone delivery of emergency supplies to a hard-to-reach mountainous area of western Japan. This effort is part of a long-term plan to incorporate drone delivery in airline's operations, as a plan to provide additional revenue in these hard times.

JAL is also workign with Matternet, operating helicopter style drones to deliver medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and blood samples in densely populated urban areas.


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